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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 183871, 6 pages
Research Article

Preparation, Characterization, and Cytotoxicity of Various Chitosan Nanoparticles

1Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province in Medicinal Chemistry, Chengdu University, Chengdu 610106, China
2Department of Pathogenic Biology, Chengdu Medical College, Chengdu 610500, China

Received 27 June 2013; Revised 25 August 2013; Accepted 26 August 2013

Academic Editor: Xinqing Chen

Copyright © 2013 Qian Yao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chitosan nanoparticles (CS-NPs) without drug loading have diverse biological activity. In this study, we prepared CS-NPs, CS-NPs solidified by different amount of glutaraldehyde, and CS-NPs modified with either biotin (B-CS-NPs) or biotin and avidin (A-B-CS-NPs) and examined their cytotoxicity on HepG2 cells. The morphology and size were measured by transmission electron microscopy and photon correction spectroscopy, respectively. The extent of solidification was validated by the approach of sonication. Biotin connect density on the surface of B-CS-NPs and A-B-CS-NPs was determined by biotin assay kit. The results showed that most of the NPs were round and their mean sizes were all below 300 nm. Biotin connect density of B-CS-NPs and A-B-CS-NPs was 2.18 ± 0.36 and 1.26 ± 0.11 mol biotin/mol CS, respectively. At relatively low concentration, CS-NPs with higher extent of solidification exhibited more vigorous inhibitory effect against HepG2 cells than those without solidification. When NPs were incubated with cancer cells for 48 h, compared with CS-NPs, the anticancer activity of B-CS-NPs and A-B-CS-NPs was enhanced significantly . In addition, A-B-CS-NPs showed superior cytotoxicity over B-CS-NPs. This study demonstrates that modification with biotin and avidin may be an efficient way in improving antitumor activity of CS-NPs against hepatic carcinoma.